The New Materialisms: Reclaiming a Debate from a Feminist Perspective

Jill Steans, Daniela Tepe-Belfrage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article re-claims and invigorates the debate on ‘New Materialism’ as it is unfolding within Marxist political economy specifically. We choose this site to make our intervention in the debate because, while Marxism claims to makes visible the poor, dispossessed and those ‘left behind’ in the contemporary global capitalist economy, we discern, in contributions made thus far, a marked tendency to sideline the rich tradition of feminist historical materialist scholarship. We contend that feminist analyses are vital in elucidating the ‘gendered face’ of global financial crisis and austerity. Accordingly, after first mapping the contours of current discussion, we briefly revisit feminist critiques of Marxism; interrogate the inter-relationship between neoliberal capitalism, the gendered nature of labour markets, the ‘patriarchal’ state and social reproduction and unpaid care work; and, finally, we further develop our argument through an analysis of the gendered impacts of current austerity measures in the United Kingdom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-326
Number of pages25
JournalCapital and Class
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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